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“Oldest Proclaimed Game Reserve in Africa”

Hluhluwe - iMfolozi Park
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US$75.57*
and up
Full-Day Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park Big Five Game...
Ranked #2 of 22 things to do in Zululand
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed 6 April 2018

Setting in the interior of Zululand, KwaZulz-Natal, South Africa territory is Africa's oldest proclaimed game reserve. We arrived after a two hour bus ride from Durban port. At the Memorial Gate entrance we were offered the opportunity for a comfort stop after which we board the 4x4 wheel vehicles which have canvas covered tops. All three person seats have good viewing capabilities (or two large people) but climbing into the vehicle up a short ladder may be a challenge for those orthopedically challenged. There is a front seat next to the driver but you are sitting low and do not have as good a photo angle compared to the higher back seats. During our journey through narrow asphalt covered roads and dirt trails/roads we viewed the endangered black and white rhinos, lions and lionesses, impalas, warthogs, zebras, water buffalos, and giraffes. We did not see any hippos or elephants during our tour but they are in the game reserve. We learned about the conservation efforts at Hluhluwe-Umfolozi reserve from our knowledgeable guide. The reserve consists of 370 sq mi of hilly topography. The tour lasted two hours in the morning. Independent drivers in their own cars are allowed to meander through the reserve on their own but NO ONE is allowed to leave their vehicles. The park was very green when we visited as it had rained for several days the week before we visited. The entrance fee is minimal.

Thank BobWE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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15 - 19 of 209 reviews

Reviewed 31 March 2018

Whilst i have always enjoyed visiting Hluhluwe-Imfolozi and have seen many animals including cheetahs, this visit was different. We saw 4 of the big 5, 3 of which were within 200 m of each other. But what hurt most that the Parks Board had introduced 6 wild dogs when the grass was tall and they were confined to the roads and the lions were killing them off one by one. On 25th March one was killed by lions, another unaccounted for and on the 26th March a third had its throat badly bitten by 2 lionesses and fell down every 20 m due to loss of blood. The location of the dog was phoned through to the park's official but whether they saved it is unknown. When will humans stop using animals as experimental animals that are considered dispensable?

Thank kdgarlipp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2018

Always coming back here - such a beauty and diversity of natural scenes. Animal encounters - nature's magic from big game to beautiful birds and dung beetles.
Twin parks with totally different atmosphere, always adventurous and not 'overdone' in terms of tourist industry. Last time, the rivers were full and both parks a radiating green. The time before that, we encountered empty rivers and elephants digging for water. Never a dull moment. Staff competent and friendly. Accommodation plain and good.

Thank Ida S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2018 via mobile

You're here in a 4x4 wheeler. The roads are mostly gravel and not as easy to maneuver as in kruger. We had some SERIOUS problems getting through certain places and scraped the bottom of our car more than once. Otherwise it's beautiful. There aren't too many cars around, most are actually the tour buses. But it's easily doable on your own, which I would recommend absolutely.
We saw a couple if rhinos, zebras, elephants, giraffes, the usual. Even a python decided to cross the street when we drove by, lucky us.
Entrance fee is affordable and not even a bother if you're a wildcard holder

Thank Immerenga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 March 2018 via mobile

Hluhluwe imfolozi was our favourite game park in South Africa with its beautiful setting of rolling hills, winding rivers and great game viewing opportunities.
It turned out to be the greatest disappointment of our 3-month and 7-game park trip. If the park is still beautiful, its management & staff are terrible and totally ruined our experience. We stayed at the Hilltop (that is SOOOO expensive for what it is) and do yourself a favour: don’t!
- The rooms are old, smelly, and not well maintained (leaking taps, non-working fans, overgrown bush on the balcony completely blocking the view (that was beautiful 9 years ago), rooms not well attended to (no soap, or coffee creamer but no coffee, always something missing - not ok for the price and stars)).
- If the breakfast was good, the à la carte dinner was a total rip off with low quality meat that is completely over cooked and sides that are too salty to be eaten. The dinner buffet was not of the greatest quality but ok.
- The worst part of all is the attitude of the staff that is unprofessional, nonchalant and arrogant (room staff, restaurant staff, and rangers).
- The game drives with the rangers were also very disappointing. First of, we spotted a lot more than the rangers (and this on every drive) who seemed to not be able to be bothered. We had a break on a parking lot outside the park where there was nothing to look at (9 years ago, it was on a beautiful and scenic spot for sunrise and sunset). And one of them was over speeding to make it back.

We signalled some of these issues to the manager who was listening, said he would follow up, and has never done so. So we can only conclude that the management is not good and the staff is just a reflection of it.

Also, the place was empty but every time we called to make a booking, we were always told that it was fully booked. The manager was very surprised to hear so as the occupancy had been low. So don’t book over the phone as someone doesn’t want to get the job done there. Go online or show up and insist.

Bottom line: go to Hluhluwe: it is a beautiful park with great game. But do everything on your own: self drive and self cater. It’s just a shame that the management and staff are not passionate, nor professional and ruined our (honeymoon) experience.

6  Thank bestregards f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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